On August 20, President Clinton ordered the bombing of Bin Laden’s terrorists’ camps and a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan suspected of manufacturing an ingredient in nerve gas. Approximately a third of Americans were suspicious of the timing of these attacks. They cite the movie Wagging the Dog in which a scandal beset president creates a fake war to divert attention from his domestic problems. Clinton hater that I am, I doubt that these attacks were designed to extricate Clinton from his problems.
It is true that any president could discover imminent threats to American lives on any day of the year. Furthermore, he could find some crisis that needed his immediate attention. Since the cold war, America has set itself up as ruler of the world and there’s always some horror occurring on this planet. But I believe Clinton has something more important on his mind.
Before I’m fair to Clinton, I’d like to state why I find him so despicable. He is charged with improper sexual relations, perjury, and obstruction of justice. These accusations pale in comparison to what everyone knows he has done openly and in public. For seven months he has turned the executive branch of government into a propaganda machine that has slandered the innocent, cast aspersions on all politicians, past or present, and set the American people against each other all to escape the consequence of his actions. He has used his "bully pulpit" to destroy the people’s trust in government and succeeded more in seven months than the libertarians have in 27 years. He has cast doubt on any nonsexual relationship between men and women, thereby exacerbating the strain in the normal relations between honest people of different sexes.
All this said, Clinton’s timing of the attacks was no real help to him. In fact, he could have easily put off the attacks to divert attention from Starr’s report when it was made public. What Clinton was doing was "acting presidential" to the best of his ability and representing the American people in the world. This is Clinton’s crime, one that he shares with all recent American presidents.
The American people believe that their country ought to control this planet. They want their president to "wag the world." However, they are not willing to make any sacrifice or undergo any risk in this enterprise.
Remember 6 months ago. The administration convinced the people that Saddam Hussein was the new Hitler who had to be stopped at any cost. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in an effort to require Saddam to submit to weapons inspections in his country. Remember 6 days ago. Saddam defied the weapons inspectors in the same way that he had in the past. The administration, the reporters, and the American people apparently made a pact not to mention this embarrassing fact. What was the beginning of Armageddon just 6 months ago was passed over without comment a week ago. The people want easy victories over easily identified villains and Saddam Hussein (unlike Manuel Noriega) has decided not to provide the Americans with their easy victory. Don’t blame Clinton for giving people what they want.
A few years ago, the Serbs were slaughtering people all over former Yugoslavia. Recently they’ve been slaughtering people in the city of Kosovo. Once more, press, president, and people agree that nothing is happening. The people hunger for justice and victories, quick justice and easy victories.
Bill Clinton may well escape the consequences of his evil actions. For 6 months his propaganda machine has attacked "the Republicans." Now he is carrying out their fondest desires. By "acting presidential" Clinton is giving the people what they want. But Clinton is child playing with a gun, and the people are children who can not conceive of tomorrow, and the wise man would not even guess what the consequences of his actions will be.